Monday, January 7, 2008
More than 10,000 police will guard Bush during Israel visit
Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem
Monday January 7, 2008
"Israeli officials in Jerusalem are to deploy more than 10,000 police officers in a vast security operation ahead of the arrival this week of George Bush, the first US president to visit in a decade. Graffiti are being cleaned off walls, road markings are being repainted and hundreds of American flags are being put up across the city. The floodlights which illuminate the stone ramparts of the Old City will stay on for an extra two hours every night, until 2am, to give the president the chance to catch the view.......
Bush, who arrives on Wednesday for his first visit as president, will stay at the King David hotel. Eight truckloads of equipment have already arrived in advance of his two-night stay. All the hotel's rooms will be taken by his entourage - tourists have had their bookings cancelled.
The security precautions, dubbed Operation Clear Skies by the Israeli security services, are immense. Roads around the hotel will be blocked, despite the huge traffic jams that will entail. A force of 10,500 police and security staff will be deployed and Bush will be flown in to the hotel by helicopter from the airport near Tel Aviv. "There will be so much security nobody will be able to get anywhere near the president," said Micky Rosenfield, Israel's police spokesman......"